First I want to say I fell in love with Dancing Backward in Paradise by Vera Jane Cook. This book is nothing like I’ve ever read before and was hard to put down. With my mom coming from the deep South I can hear accent in her words she wrote. I can see her descriptions in my mind. While this book is fiction it very well could be real, and takes place during the Civil Rights Era and shows how people struggled with thoughts and feelings.
Part two of the book in New York City is full of life. It has a very real feel to it especially to someone from a small town venturing into the city. Grace’s expectation of returning home is foiled and her life takes a whole new turn. She learns not to make quick judgements and the new integration between blacks and whites.
By Vera Jane Cook
Category: Contemporary Fiction/ Women’s Fiction/ Southern Fiction
Available in: Print & ebook
Life for Grace Place is all about sucking on “meat jerkys” and Lenny Bean, her handsome lover. Grace’s mother has loftier plans for her daughter. She insists that Grace save her money and move to New York City so she can find fame and fortune as an actress.
Grace works as a cleaning lady for wealthy Betty Ann Houseman so she can pool her pennies for the trip north. Betty Ann has a passion for men more pronounced than her overbite, and it isn’t long before she’s parting the sheets for Lenny Bean. But just before Grace leaves Hixson for New York City, she uncovers an insidious plot: the Bean family is trying to steal Betty Ann’s estate.
Grace flees to New York, where she faces her darkest hours. In a world of surprises, Grace truly discovers paradise.